Russia is developing a bomber airfield near Norway

Rogachevo air base will become the latest military installation in the Russian Arctic to receive an extended runway and new facilities for personnel and equipment. The facility sits around 800 km from Kirkenes in North Norway.

Plans to enlarge and update the Rogachevo air base on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya were unveiled by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The 2400-meter runway will be extended during the five-year project to accommodate all military and civilian aircraft, including long-range interceptors and bombers with nuclear weapons.

The newest Arctic air base to get improvements and longer runways is Rogachevo. Russia previously built or renovated facilities at the air bases in Temp and Nagurskoye. During the summer of 2020, the airstrip at Nagurskoye, located roughly 1000 kilometers to the north of Rogachevo, was enlarged from 2400m to 3400m.

Image source: MALTE HUMPERT via High North News

Upgraded staff and material facilities will also be a part of Rogachevo’s modernization efforts. Rogachevo will be able to station and operate aircraft all year long thanks to new hangars.

The “Arctic Trefoil” design used by Russia on existing airbases, such as Temp and Nagurskoye, may or may not be adopted by future installations.

One of the five over-the-horizon Resonance-N radar stations, which can detect and track objects such as airplanes and missiles at a distance of more than 1000 km, was previously installed near Rogachevo in recent years. The base also got a brand-new S-400 air defense system in 2019 that works with the Resonance-N radar.

MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft and Su-33 fighter detachments have been stationed at the airfield for the previous three years. Su-34 fighter bomber squadrons have been stationed in Rogachevo since 2021. Additionally, a range of rotary aircraft as well as other transport aircraft, such as the Antonov An-72 and An-26, frequently fly into and out of the base.

An An-72, two Su-34, an An-26, and four unidentifiable helicopters may be seen on the apron next to the runway in satellite photographs from 2022.

Image source: GoogleMaps and MALTE HUMPERT

The Tu-142 long-range reconnaissance jet and the Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber will be able to regularly use the airfield thanks to the runway extension.

Photo: Northern Fleet via The Independent Barents Observer

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